The federal government is planning to borrow $750 million on behalf of state to stimulate local economies in Nigeria.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs. Zainab Ahmed made this disclosure in Abuja on Friday at the inauguration ceremony of the Federal Steering Committees of the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (N-CARES).

According to the Finance Minister, the Nigerian Government “is in the process of accessing a World Bank loan of $750 million on behalf of the states, to stimulate the local economy and support vulnerable household’s consumption”.

In going to borrow the money the federal government is considering the cause and consequences of civil unrest and COVID-19 in the country.

Zainab Ahmed stated that: “the consequences will be too high if we ignore the root cause of rising civil unrest in our country. We must, therefore, fashion out ways of ensuring that post Covid-19 is not injurious to the Nigerian people and the economy.”

The Finance Minister noted that “the federal government has created several windows of interventions as captured in the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) to, among other things, “respond robustly and appropriately to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, identify fiscal measures to enhance oil and non-oil government revenues and reduce non-essential spending”.

Speaking on the need for proper implementation, Ahmed stated that “to ensure that the implementation of the N-CARES is in line with the federal government priorities as outlined in the ESP, the Federal Steering Committee, made up of ministers and permanent secretaries as well as a Technical Committee, made up of directors of key ministries, department and agencies (MDAs) has to be in place”.

According to her, the government has carefully selected the “members of the Federal Steering and Technical Committees because of the important role your MDAs play in the recovery of the Nigerian economy as well as the fulfillment of lifting 100 million people out of poverty.”

On the expediency of the inauguration of the committee, the Finance Minister said, “the inauguration of the committees “is expedient given the nature of this emergency intervention; Nigeria as the biggest economy in Africa cannot afford to remain in recession; the survival of over 200 million population is germane to all we do and we must address the concerns of the majority of our populace”.

Members of the Federal Steering Committee will provide an overall policy direction for the implementation of this programme and advise Mr. President appropriately, while the Federal Technical Committee will be responsible for the programme oversight, overall guidance, support, coordination, strategic direction, review and approval of the annual work programme as well as budget for the Federal CARES Support Unit (FCSU).

The members of the Steering Committee of the Nigeria CARES Programme, are: Minister of State, Budget and National Planning (BNP) FMFBNP- Chairman; Minister of State-Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD); Minister of State-Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI); Minister of State-Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment (FMLE); Minister of State-Federal Ministry of Environment (FMEnv); Minister of State-Federal Ministry of Education (FME); Permanent Secretary, Budget & National Planning (BNP); Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance (BNP); Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs (MHDMSD); Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources (FMWR); Executive Director NGF Secretariat; Chairman Federal CARES Technical Team (FMFBNP) – Secretariat.

Their terms of reference (ToR) are to: “provide overall strategic and policy guidance for the implementation of the programme; reviewing operation performance annually and provide feedback to government at both federal and state levels; and garnering support for the operation as further specified in the operations manual.”

The members of the Federal Technical Committee inaugurated were: Director Economic Growth (BNP) Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) – Chairman; Director-Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development (FMARD); Director-Federal Ministry of Water Resources (FMWR); Director-Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment (FMITI); Director-Ministry of Humanitarian, Disaster Management & Soc. Dev. (MHDMSD); Director-Federal Ministry of Education (FME); Director-Federal Ministry of Environment (FMEnv); Director-Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (FMWA); Director-Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment (FMLE); Director-International Economic Relation Department (IERD) FMFBNP; Director-Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS); Director-Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) Secretariat; Assistant Director-Economic Growth Department (BNP) FMFBNP; and Federal CARES Support Unit (FCSU)- Secretariat

Their Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Federal Technical Committee are: providing technical oversight and guidance for program operation implementation; reviewing and approving annual work program and budget for the FCSU; reviewing project operation performance, accounting and audit reports and ensuring implementation of decisions taken by the FCSU; conducting performance review of key FCSU staff; garnering support for National CDD policy; undertaking advocacy and sensitization of the Nigeria CARES programme to Nigerian; and approving amendments to the operations manual and the overall programme implementation plan for the operations as further specified in the operation manual.